Tufts University Permanent Art Collection
Established early in the university's existence in the mid-19th
century, the Tufts University Permanent Art Collection features portraits of
founders, benefactors, and faculty, as well as landscapes that depict the
campus's progression over the years. As such, these works of art are an
integral part of University history. The University's art collection
has expanded to include a range of art from antiquity to the present.
Moreover, it has grown through the generosity of donors, many of whom have
been, or are, trustees who have given multiple gifts that reflect their
personal collecting interests. We are fortunate to benefit from the
exquisite tastes and exacting standards of our supporters.
The Collection comprises approximately 2,000 works spanning ancient
Mediterranean and pre-Hispanic cultures to modern and contemporary painting,
sculpture, and 20th century photography. The Tufts collection
features 19th- and 20th-century landscape, portraiture, and abstract paintings
by artists such as Eric Aho, Emile Bernard, Elaine De Kooning, Helen
Frankenthaler, Grace Hartigan, John Frederick Kensett, Gyorgy Kepes, Willard
Metcalf, Maude Morgan, Alice Neel, Fairfield Porter, Milton Resnick, John Singer
Sargent, Paul Stopforth, Andy Warhol, and Grant Wood. Modern and
contemporary sculptures by Dmitri Hadzi, Richard Hunt, Louise Nevelson, Isamu
Noguchi, August Rodin, Etrog Sorel, and Frank Stella, among others, are sited in
public indoor and outdoor locations across the Medford campus.
A large percentage of the collection is comprised of works on paper,
principally prints and photographs. The Collection includes prints by
Salvador Dalí, Albrecht Dürer, Max Ernst, Alex Katz, Joan Miró,
Sonia Getchoff, Wassily Kandinsky, Sir Howard Hodgkin, Francois Millet, Berthe
Morisot, Pablo Picasso, James Rosenquist, and Hale Woodruff, among many others.
Twentieth-century photography is a notable strength of the Tufts Collection.
Photographers in the Collection include: Berenice Abbott; Arundel Society
Publishers; Lewis Baltz; Cecil Beaton; Edouard Boubat; Manual Alvarez Bravo;
Marilyn Bridges; Azel V. Capen; E. Chickering; Robert Doisneau; Gary Duehr; Dr.
Harold Edgerton; Elliot Erwitt; Walker Evans; Larry Fink; Lee Fredlander; Ralph
Gibson; Charles Giuliano; Frank Gohlke; Sally Gall; Philippe Halsman; Philip
Jameson; André Kertesz; Johan Kuus; Danny Lyon; Alen MacWeeney; Joel Meyerowitz;
Richard Misrach; Delilah Montoya; Maria Muller; Dorothy Norman; Tod Papageorge;
Frank Paulin; Gilles Peres; Rosamund Purcell; Arthur Rothstein; Aaron Siskind;
Richard Sobol; Michael Ullman; and Garry Winogrand.
Selected highlights of the University's Collection are offered here as a
virtual exhibition to give a sense of its outstanding range.
Dürer (German, 1471-1528), Flight into Egypt, 1503; wood engraving;
11-11/16 x 8-1/4 in.; gift of Steven and Linda Shapiro in Honor of George Fine; 1985.5
A German printmaker and watercolor painter, Dürer raised woodcutting, at the
time mainly a utilitarian printing process, to an art form. He introduced
classical motifs into Northern European art, becoming one of the great figures
of the Northern Renaissance. This engraving represents the first use by a major
artist of the motif of the Holy Family crossing a river.
Frankenthaler (American, b. 1928), Orange Shapes in Frame, 1964; acrylic
on canvas; 94-1/2 x 75-1/4 in.; gift of Placido Arango; 2000.16
A prominent figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement in New York during
the 1950s, Frankenthaler developed a method of pouring paint over untreated
canvas to allow pigments to soak into the fabric. Her "stain paintings,"
such as the one shown here, emphasize the luminous and textual effects of her medium.
Andy Warhol (American, 1936-1986),
Kimiko Powers, 1972; oil on canvas; 60 x 60 in.; gift of David and
Barbara Slater; Image courtesy of Peter Harris; © 2007 Andy Warhol Foundation
for the Visual Arts / ARS, New York, 1980.5
The king of Pop Art, and one of the 20th century's most influential creators,
Warhol exploited mainstream fascination with celebrity and kitsch by
manipulating images of familiar people and objects. He juxtaposed contrasting
colors to create bold silk screens, as in this portrait of his friend, the wife
of industrialist John Powers.
Sir Howard Hodgkin (British, b. 1932),
Red Palm, ca. 1986;
Hand colored lithograph, with watercolor and gouache; 41 x 52 in. Gift of Orna
Shulman (J80), 2000.4
Howard Hodgkin's artwork falls in the realm of the semi-abstract: It seems
nonrepresentational at first glance, but it often suggests embedded figures that
contain depth and mystery, like the palm tree referenced in the title of this
painting. Winner of the 1985 Turner Prize, Hodgkin is sometimes seen as an heir
to Henri Matisse.
Auguste Rodin (French 1840-1917), Despair, 1890; Bronze; Tufts
University Permanent Collection; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Carl J. Gilbert; AI 45000
Sculptor Auguste Rodin failed the entrance examination for the Ecole des
Beaux-Arts three times, but became one of the primary shapers of the Paris art
scene in the late 19th century. His bronzes, like the one shown here, represent
literary and mythological subjects, and also feature ordinary folk, like
peasants, dancers, and acrobats.
Richard Misrach, Cloudburst, Nuclear Test Site, Nevada, 1987; Dye coupler photograph; Tufts University Permanent Collection; Gift of the
In the 1970s, Misrach helped pioneer the renaissance of color photography and
large-scale presentation. Like the photograph shown here, much of his work
emphasizes the fragility of beauty and the immanence of destruction in a world
where governments test nuclear weapons.
Emile Bernard (French, 1886-1941),
Le Ribay, 1 Mai, 1886, 1886; oil on canvas; 18-1/2 x 22 in.; gift of
Robert and Ruth Remis; 1982.10
A significant member of the late 19th-century post-Impressionist movement,
cloisonism, the practice of reducing compositions into areas of color
delineated by strong, black contours. His early work, such as this one, plays
with techniques of Impressionism and pointillism to suggest, rather than clearly
convey, objective views of reality.
Alice Neel, (American, 1900-1984),
Spanish Harlem, 1938; Oil on canvas; 34 x 28 in.; Gift of Richard Neel and Dr. Hartley Neel (M69);
A participant in the Depression-era Works Progress Administration, Neel
completed a painting every six weeks and lost track of the one shown here until
it was rediscovered in 1983. Possibly a view from her apartment window at the
time, it exemplifies her interest in figurative representations and urban
Isamu Noguchi, (Japanese-American, 1904-1988),
Worm Stone (no date); Granite; Tufts University Permanent Collection;
Gift of Mr. Harold Greisman; 2000.31
In the late 1920s, the Japanese-American Noguchi received a Guggenheim Award
to study sculpture in Paris, India, China, and Japan. Following the example of
his mentor, Constantin Brancusi, Noguchi used natural materials and emphasized
the coexistence of organic and geometric elements, as in this granite carving.
Jean Arp (French, 1886-1966),
Die Menschen Gleichen den Fliegen (People Are Like Flies),
wood block and watercolor
A French sculptor, painter, collagist, and printmaker, Arp pioneered abstract
art and helped found Dadaism, a movement that rejected cultural conventions and
sought unorthodox methods to shock society into self-awareness. In this late
work, with its classically Dada-esque title, Arp printed a biomorphic woodblock
form over watercolor.
John Frederick Kensett (American 1818-1872),
Lake George Landscape, Late Summer, 1868; Oil on canvas; 14-1/8 x 30-1/4 in.; Gift of Dr. Arnold Weiss (DDS 1953);
Kensett helped found the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1870, and, as a
prominent member of the Hudson River School, was a naturalist who emphasized
tone and hue. His later work, like this painting, explores the use of color and
light to create depth of perspective, translucence, and stillness.
Frank Stella (American, b. 1936),
Aluminum with metal polychrome; Tufts University Permanent Collection; Gift of
the Artist in Memory of his Father, Dr. Frank Stella, A'31; 1986.016
Known for his three-dimensional wall-reliefs, American artist Frank Stella
creates hybrid objects that are part painting and part sculpture. Since
the 1960s, Stella has created innovative works that challenge traditional
notions of painting as a two-dimensional surface. In Borgoria,
layered geometric forms made from industrial materials juxtapose flatness and
depth. The surface has been treated with a sander to create an equivalent
of brushstrokes. Part of Stella's Polish Village Series, this work was
conceived as a response to the Holocaust.
Borgoria is the name of a Polish town whose wooden synagogue was
destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. The work was donated to Tufts
in honor of the artist's late father, who was a graduate of the Tufts Medical
School. How do the scumbled, metallic surface and asymmetrical geometric
shape of this work evoke the Holocaust for you?
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